How To Fit Hiking Boots
Poorly fitting hiking boots can turn a beautiful outdoor hike into a long, painful slog. Blister pain and rubbing caused by ill-fitting walking boots really can be agony – and the worst bit is, wherever you’ve walked to you’ll probably have to walk back again. If you plan to get outdoors and enjoy the hills it’s vital to make sure your hiking boots fit properly, so read on for our guide to how to fit walking boots for all the family.
How To Choose Walking Boots
Before you choose hiking boots, you need to have a think about what type of boots you need. This will depend on where you plan to explore. No one type of boot will suit all terrains. If you plan to stick to well-maintained footpaths with low gradients, a pair of walking trainers will probably be good enough. But if it’s rugged and rocky mountain paths you’re eyeing up, it’s worth investing in something a little tougher to keep you safe and support your ankles. See our blog on how to choose walking boots for more.
What Size Walking Boots Do You Need?
Generally, you should expect to choose walking boots that are the same size as your usual shoe size. Although this is not necessarily the case if you need narrow or wide fit walking boots. In order to make sure you end up with well-fitting walking boots make sure you follow these tips:
• Try on boots later in the day. Our feet can expand a lot across the course of the day and boots that fit you comfortably in the morning may feel too tight when you get up into the hills.
• Make sure you wear your usual walking socks when you are fitting hiking boots. TIP: Don’t underestimate the importance of decent walking socks.
• If you wear orthopaedic insoles make sure you insert them into the boots before trying them on.
How To Fit Hiking Boots
If possible you should visit a reputable supplier that has expertise in fitting hiking boots. That way they can talk you through the options you have. However, if you’re short on time, or like to know what to expect before you enter the shop, here’s our guide on how to fit your walking boots properly.
Walking Boot Fitting: How To
1. Put both boots on
Don’t lace them up yet. Stand up and let your feet spread into the shoes. If they feel at all uncomfortable before lacing them up try the next size up or a different style. If a hiking boot fits well it should be comfortable as soon as you put it on.
2. Check if the length is right
Sit down. Wriggle your toes forwards until they are touching the front of the boots (it helps if you have cut your toenails!). Bend forward at the ankle, without raising your heel. This may feel odd if you are not used to walking boots. Insert your finger down the back of your heel. You should have space to move your finger backwards and forwards a little, but not excessively. Remember when you are out hiking on a hot day your feet will swell up – it’s important that your boots have enough space to allow for this.
3. Now lace them up
Move your heel to the back of the shoe, and lace them up tightly as you would for walking. Stand up. If the hiking boot fits correctly your foot should now feel supported in the boot. Check you have room to wriggle your toes. If you feel the boots are pinching across the width of your feet, try a pair of wide fitting hiking boots instead.
4. Test them out
• Try rocking backwards and forwards up onto the balls of your feet and the heels. Do you feel your heel lifting or the boot slipping? Adjust the laces and try again.
• Take a walk around. Is your foot able to bend at the ball? Does it feel comfortable? Does your heel stay in place and do you have room to move your toes?
• Trying on in store? Often shops have a ramp. Practise walking up and down to check how each hiking boot fits when you’re walking on a gradient.
5. Break them in slowly
Make sure you try your new hiking boots on and wear them round the house plenty to ‘walk them in’. And remember, build up to a big walk. Try some short strolls to get your feet used to your new boots – you’ll be pleased you did!
Remember, don’t just buy the first pair that feel comfortable (or the cheapest ones!), try plenty on so you get a real feel for what fits your foot well. This is particularly important if you need wide fit walking boots for a high instep or wider foot.
Browse our range of hiking boots for the whole family to find the right fit for you:
Shop Men’s Hiking Boots
Shop Women’s Hiking Boots
Shop Kids’ Hiking Boots